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Florida asks same-sex couples to help with overwhelming number of children in foster care

Population growth, budget cuts and the opioid epidemic have fueled a sharp rise in the number of children in Florida’s care – currently more than 1,300 in Orange and Osceola counties alone. To meet the need, Glen Casel, CEO of the nonprofit Community Based Care has called for 100 new foster homes by year’s end – and the agency is appealing to both single adults and same-sex couples.

via Orlando Sentinel

Community Based Care and other agencies try to do more than find an open bed for each child; they try to find a good fit. Providing an accepting foster parent for a child who is gay or struggling with gender identity can be crucial, Casel said, especially given the region’s already-high percentage of LGBTQ homeless youth.

Though Florida’s ban on gay adoption wasn’t officially repealed until 2015, it had not been enforced for at least five years.

Foster parents get a small stipend, $18 a day per child, and the children have state-covered health insurance. But parents report they still end up spending more out of their own pockets. They think it’s worth it.